How to visit Tuscany cheaply

Tuscany can be expensive, there’s no doubt about that. But here’s a sure fire way to do it cheaply AND see more of the local culture!

Written by Michael Turtle

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle. A journalist for more than 20 years, he's been travelling the world since 2011.

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle and has been travelling full time for a decade.


Cheap Tuscany, Italy

It’s no surprise that one of the most popular regions of Italy is also one of the most expensive. Between accommodation, food and sites, you can really burn through the euros on a trip to Tuscany.

But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way – it is possible to travel Tuscany on the cheap.

By accident, I discovered a way to keep the cost of visiting Tuscany right down. And the bonus? Well, it might actually be better suited to your style of travel as well.

Introducing… dramatic drumroll… the hostel in the countryside!

cheap tuscany, tuscany accommodation, tuscan food, cheap, affordable, budget

Cheap Tuscany accommodation

In the quiet little village of Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, the hostel is one of the largest buildings. That’s not to say it’s large, more that everything else is appropriately proportioned for a village.

It’s called the ‘Ostello del Chianti’ and a bed in a dorm will cost only 16 euros. There’s a large common area to relax and mingle in, a good dining room which is usually quite quiet in the evenings, and a garden with a bbq.

There are plenty of rooms so it’s ideal for larger groups or for those travelling solo.

cheap tuscany, tuscany accommodation, tuscan food, cheap, affordable, budget

The advantage of staying in the hostel for sightseeing in Tuscany is that the village is centrally located. It’s only a short bus ride to Florence or Siena, or to some of the smaller and more charming towns like San Gimignano and Volterra.

To Florence, for example, the trip is slightly less than an hour and costs 3.30 euros.

It means it’s possible to base yourself in one place for a week and take day trips to various locations to get a broad sense of the area. If you had a car, it would be even easier. Even with a bike there are a number of places you can explore.

cheap tuscany, tuscany accommodation, tuscan food, cheap, affordable, budget

Cheap Tuscany food

You’ll also keep your food costs down. Firstly, breakfast is provided, unlike with many of the hotels in the larger cities of Tuscany. If you’re back in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa by the evening there are some great pizzerias to choose from for dinner and, guess what, they’re cheap.

An average pizza will set you back about 4 or 5 euros and half a litre of wine costs about 4 euro. That’s more than half the cost you’ll find at the basic restaurants in Florence.

cheap tuscany, tuscany accommodation, tuscan food, cheap, affordable, budget

At the bar in the main street of the town, you can get a cheap drink and even do some wine tasting. The owner speaks good English and gave us a large variety of local specialties to try – all for only 2.50 euros per (large!) glass.

There are a number of other wineries in the area that you can walk to and will do a wine tasting during the day, if you’re interested in that. There are also some beautiful hikes and historic villages all within walking or cycling distance.

It’s a nice way to see some of the Tuscan countryside and scenic views, away from the hordes of tourists in other parts of the region.

cheap tuscany, tuscany accommodation, tuscan food, cheap, affordable, budget

If you want to spend day after day looking at the museums and galleries of Florence, this might not be the best option.

But if you want to get a sense of Tuscany, see some smaller villages as well as the big cities, eat some genuine local food and drink the delicious Tuscan wine, AND do it all on a tight budget… then this is a great option to consider!

31 thoughts on “How to visit Tuscany cheaply”

  1. Hey this is great to know about! We did a post on Tuscany on a shoestring last year when we were there, too. In general, Tuscany can be really cheap, especially because food and wine are actually economical, but it’s the accommodation that can run up costs. Great that this hostel is so near to San Gimignano and Volterra – those were my two absolute favorite little towns!

    • The food isn’t exorbitant but you’re definitely going to be paying tourist prices at most places in the big cities. That’s why getting out to the smaller areas can be really economical.

  2. I found Tuscany to be surprisingly cheap. Dining out at restaurants can be expensive but the supermarkets are fabulous. You can buy a great bottle of Sicilian wine for less than 2 Euros. I found a great studio with a with a kitchenette on and used it as a base to explore Cinque Terre and Tuscany for just 50Euros/night.

  3. Tuscany is one of the beautiful place of the World. It will be so memorable to spend some time at this place. All the accommodation and also the affordable rate is so good. Thanks for sharing this……………………….

  4. Curious as to the name of the pizzeria and the town it is in. We’re planning to “pizza eat” our way through Tuscany next year and this looks like exactly our kind of place!

  5. My twin sister and I are planning a trip to Tuscany just after our 60th birthday in 2020. How can I get more information on this hostel?

  6. What airport would I fly into to get to the hostel? Is there a bus from the airport to the hostel? Do I need a car? What are car rentals, bike rentals?
    Do I need a reservation at the hostel?


Leave a comment